Good manners are something that can help you all throughout life, from the time you’re young to when you’re an adult, at home and in the workplace.
Manners need to be instilled in children when they’re young so they become part of their usual routine, but it can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start or what’s considered the most important. There’s not always an agreed upon list of social norms, and everyone has different standards.
Although everyone raises their children differently, there are a few basics that you can start teaching your kids right away.
1. Saying Please & Thank You
Every child should be taught the importance of saying their “p’s and q’s.” Studies show that saying thank you can even help maintain relationships down the line, as it makes you more interpersonally warm, as well as polite.
2. Look People In The Eye
It’s important to encourage kids to look both adults and other children in the eye when they are talking to them. Too little eye contact can come off as uneasy, unprepared and insincere, while just the right amount can instill respect as well as a feeling of connectedness, something that becomes useful at any age.
3. Don’t Interrupt
To help your child be a good listener and respect what others are saying, they need to learn not to interrupt, or to say excuse me if they have something to say. Engaging in group conversations and nicely pointing out when your child interrupts can help them get in the habit of waiting their turn.
4. Don’t Make Fun Of Anyone
Kids need to understand that their actions can have consequences for others. As a parent, you want to raise your child to be someone who stands up for others rather than putting them down. This can be done by explaining how their words can hurt others, helping them manage their emotions, and learning how to properly express their negative feelings.
5. Chew With Your Mouth Closed
No one at any age likes to watch someone chew with their mouth wide full of food. You can explain to kids that not only is it unsanitary and unpleasant, but it can actually turn people off from being their acquaintance.
6. Wash Your Hands Before Eating
This is a well-known rule, but one that requires getting into the habit. Your kids must understand the importance of removing germs before putting food in their mouth, especially if they’re helping a host set the table or serve food.
Have your kids already got those covered? This infographic from All Pro Dad outlines a few more areas where kids can practice being courteous and polite, including serving guests who visit your home and writing “thank you” notes.
What manners do you try to teach your kids?